We're gearing up for a big milestone. This weekend, more than 4,300 UTSA graduates will gather at the Alamodome to cross the commencement stage. They'll earn their degrees with family members and friends cheering them on.
Commencement is one of my favorite times of year. As I sit on the stage looking out at our graduates, I see the hope in their eyes. I see their loved ones, bursting with pride, sitting in the stands. I see great opportunities ahead for our graduates. And the moment is overwhelming. It reminds me of the importance of our work.
UTSA is changing lives. We are educating tomorrow's business and civic leaders, scientists, engineers, teachers and artists who are changing the world.
Take Charles Chikelu. This native of Nigeria moved to the U.S at age 11, learned English and sought out UTSA because it would allow him to serve his adopted country while he earned his degree. This weekend, he'll receive his bachelor's degree in Multidisciplinary Studies, then join the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence Corps as a second lieutenant.
When 57-year old Mary Ledbetter-Gallagher crosses the commencement stage, she hopes to show others that you're never too old to attend college. She came to UTSA to become re-acquainted with American history, a passion dating back to her childhood. This weekend, two of her children and three grandchildren will be cheering from the stands.
There's also Ricardo Rosales. He's a first-generation student and math major. After interning at Goldman Sachs, they were so impressed by his skills that they've offered him a job. He'll start right after he crosses the commencement stage.
These are just a few examples of our top-tier graduates. There are 4,300 more, each with a unique personal story of persistence and triumph.
Commencement reminds us that when deliver excellence to our students, we're not only transforming their lives but the lives of their family members, their communities and the world.
Join me in congratulating the Class of 2016.
President, The University of Texas at San Antonio